Tonawanda News —
The book is 256 pages long, and pays tribute to each of the chosen species with grainy and sometimes poor-quality photos. This makes me keep going back to the book to study the pictures more intensely as if by staring at them will bring them back to life. Many of the photos are black and white, with heavy equipment and absolute still subjects needed to accomplish what we take for granted every time we get out a smartphone and take a selfie.
The font is on the large side and the photographic record part of the book is as large as possible without compromising the aged photos. Many of the species covered are birds, with a few mammals referenced at the end. One species that is not covered in this book is the hallmark of extinction, the Dodo bird. The Dodo was never photographed, as it disappeared too early for such a record.
Many of the species have stories of the last known individuals, including their names, the location where they died and the caregivers who studied them and respected them. Some of the species covered only have pictures of one individual.
The quagga, a zebra relative named for the noise it made, has only five known photographs. All feature the same female, which lived at the London Zoo for 21 years. Quaggas were hunted to extinction during the 18th and 19th centuries because they competed with cattle and sheep for grazing. Humans sure make interesting decisions.
Kenny Coogan has a B.S. in animal behavior and is a certified professional bird trainer through the International Avian Trainers Certification Board. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or search for “Critter Companions by Kenny Coogan” on Facebook.